N: Can you tell us little bit about your self
M:I was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the small town of West Bridgewater. Art has always been a part of my life. My father introduced us to anime and Gundam. He does a lot of sculpting and builds model kits on his free time. Meanwhile, my grandmother was a Chinese painter. She painted with black ink and oil paints, creating beautiful traditional portraits of flowers and birds. She taught my younger sisters and I when we were young. We were always very excited to show her our school artwork, and she was always so proud of us.
When I was young, I always enjoyed drawing. I would doodle in my school notes and draw pictures of video game or anime characters. When it was time to look into colleges, I was very worrisome about going into the art field. I was afraid that I would not be able to find a job and decided to go into the science field. Eventually, I graduated with a doctor of pharmacy degree after 7 years of school. It was during my last year of my education where I really started to rethink about going back into art, but I just didn’t know what or where to go. When I graduated, it took me over a year to finally get a pharmacist job. However, I used that time to explore, experiment and push myself to see what I was capable of with my talent. My younger brother, Andrew, and I discovered ThreeA, and we were so inspired by Ashley Wood’s style and imagination. The toys the company produced looked like they came right out of his oil paintings. The amount of detail they put into their work was just amazing. We found out about their website where members can submit fan art during figure pre order nights. That is where our paper figure adventure began. I made my paper doll like figures with inter-changeable accessories, and Andrew made his 3D block like paper toys. Members on the board were very happy too see our work and that just pushed us to keep going. The feeling of excitement and joy knowing people enjoyed our art work was very motivating. As time went on, we continue to improve/change in our style/technique/design of the paper figures. We were experimenting with glow in the dark paints, chrome paper, textured paper, lighting, framing, and more. The paper figures were becoming a lot more intricate, with moving parts, and thicker in size. We started to get request for commissions that that made us explore different characters and styles. For example, we made some COARSE toy pieces, Iron Man and War Machine, Star Wars, Mario, and more. Every single project we would challenge ourselves to add something new. Each time we finished a project, we are proud and amazed upon the final product.
M:Chanimation comes from Chan (our last name) plus Animation. Chan + Animation = Chanimation. When I was younger, I had dreamed about one day creating an animation movie that would wow everyone.
N:Where you got your inspiration from? we have seen you done lots great paper sculpting relating anime, 3A/ Ashely wood characters.
M:Ashley Wood definitely had a big influence on our work. His imagination and characters are just amazing. Turning his characters into our paper figure style came out very cool, especially those with weapons and accessories. We tried to make our figures as close to his in every detail. As we created these threeA paper figures, we would share it with the ThreeA community. Their feedback was always very positive which motivated us to keep going and make more. It is a great feeling knowing people enjoy what we make.
My grandmother, who passed away back in 2012, is also a big inspiration to our work. She was always so proud of our work, and always smiling when we saw her. She took the time and effort to teach us her experiences in painting and taught us about life. I remembered back then she would hang all of our drawings and paints on the kitchen door for everyone to see. Whenever she had visitors she would show off our artwork she had taught us and everyone would be so happy to see them. I wish she was still here to see what we have accomplished and how much we have grown.
N:What is average time for complete a paper sculpting/
M:It used to take a day or two (not including the framing). But, now our designs are so intricate, it can take a week or more. Our process starts out with the research and creating a hand drawn image. Then, it is digitalized and cut. Afterwards, it is assembly time. This process can take a little time because I am restricted with the amount of space inside the frame. I cannot make the paper figure too thick or it won’t fit inside the frame. So, it is very important that I think up what is the best way to pop up layers to give it the right look. Then, comes the framing process which takes some handy woodshop work. The frames I buy from the store, but I customize them to display my artwork. Once its framed, sometimes I create banners/decals to put on the frame, like the name of the character or a small image.
M:Just do it or you will never know what the outcome will be. I took myself out of the mindset of “I can do it” or “I will do it”. During my year of job searching, I used that time and told myself I need to do this art thing. I was thinking about all of the famous celebrities and they all got somewhere because they went out and did or performed their actions/goals. I want to show people that you have to push yourself to do something in order to get an outcome. For example, I won’t say “I can make this paper character.” Instead I will go ahead and do it. If you put your mind and actions to your goals, success will come sooner or later. Also, challenging yourself is very important. I never really applied that concept until I started creating my paper figures. With each project I would challenge myself to do something new or improve on something. The outcome has always come out very rewarding.
N:what is your future goal?
M:I want to continue pursuing an art career. I will continue to challenge myself in my paper creations in hopes to make something big. I want to be able to share my work with everyone and hope that it brings joy and excitement to them.